Posted On: Thursday - September 8th 2022 6:56PM MST
In Topics:   Curmudgeonry  Peak Stupidity Roadshow
No, first of all, the Peak Stupidity CurmudgeonryFest we started last week is most certainly NOT over yet, since you asked. In addition, we are not even done complaining about slow-assed ambulance drivers! If this is getting old for you, I understand, but my therapist is always telling me "blog it out, bitch!" So here you go, and if you do want to read more, you may go back to Three Stupidity Anecdotes again (the 1st one), or further back, to 1st
It was different this time. I saw the ambulance in the rear view mirrors, so what do they tell you? Get to the right! (That should be a mantra for driving in general, unless you drive in strange foreign lands.) So I did. This was a fairly fast-moving 4-lane road, but at the intersection I was approaching there was a separate right-turn lane. I got in it and stopped.
Well, that cleared the regular right (out of 2) lane, and with nobody coming for 1/2 mile back, I'd cleared a way for this ambulance. They were having none of that. Maybe it's their rule, but they came around traffic into the other lane to pass everyone on the left, and then did (as I've described before) their 10-second scan of the intersection that a driver on ludes* would do in 5.
OK, look I had to get home at some point, and if I stayed too long stopped in this right turn lane, the light would turn red AND I'd be stuck in this lane with people pissed at me for wanting to cut them off. Back onto the road I went, through the intersection, and ahead at normal speed, 5 to 10 mph over the 40 mph limit. (It is a pretty safe stretch there.)
Where was the ambulance now? Way back there, as I was PULLING AWAY for cryin' out loud! "Who are these guys!?** I was a quarter mile ahead of them for a time, and then they caught up at a light 2 miles later, at which I'd pulled hard over into a place of business to get out of their way a second time. I thought about flagging them down and asking if they needed me to bring the patient in - they could meet us 10 minutes later in the ER with his medications. I'm not sure if their patient would have fit under the hatchback though ...
I get (from a comment or two) that these ambulances have to be steady for work to be done, etc. They are mobile field hospitals to some degree. Then they should just leave the sirens and lights off, if they won't drive like they mean it.
Rather than your 1970s Emergency!*** TV show "heroes" picking up old people with heart attacks and rushing them to the hospital, I wonder now if Granny is DRIVING the ambulance these days.
Hopefully, this will be the end of the ranting about this, but since, it's a post about traffic, I will mention a weird thing, yellow turn arrows on traffic signal devices. They seem to confuse some people, and I could see why. This one flashes a yellow left arrow for 30 seconds after something closer to 15-20 seconds of it being a green left arrow. Twice now, drivers had just sat there, not turning and letting the signal turn into a standard red light (or maybe red arrow).
It's a tough call, if you haven't see that specific intersection before or you're a typical smart-phone-fixated driver. Is it like a standard yellow light, meaning the red will be here in a few seconds, so stop if you still can? You could be forgiven for thinking so, but this one is not. It's just telling us to yield for straight-ahead traffic from the other side of the intersection. I could see that the traffic on both sides of the 4-lane crossing road was stopped, so I figured it out. That didn't help, since the first driver didn't bother to figure it out.
I'm kinda wistful sometimes about the middle of the PanicFest, when everyone else just stayed off the roads completely!
* Although, as Jeff Spicolli noted, people on ludes shouldn't drive.
** Said to myself with quite the opposite meaning as when Butch Cassidy asked the question to the Sundance Kid (possibly vice versa).
*** The first season aired 50 years ago.